Supporting Others Through Wellness
The power of influence
Physical activity and well-being have always been a quality Clare Bloss ’21 values. From an early age, she took up running, eventually joining cross-country and track in high school. Her parents, also runners and avid exercise enthusiasts, instilled the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. Clare even would visit the local Greensboro, North Carolina, YMCA just to watch people play basketball.
For her, being around a gym was her place. A way for her to de-stress.
As a business administration major, Clare arrived at NC State and wanted to branch out and break up the monotony of running, experiencing group fitness classes such as yoga and even trying the indoor climbing wall.
To keep herself accountable and continue staying active, she decided to work at Wellness and Recreation during her first-year, as a facility operation assistant. It did not take her long to realize the impact she had on the NC State community.
She learned the power of a positive attitude.
“One of the reasons I enjoy my job so much is because a large part of it is putting other people in a good mood which makes me happy,” said Bloss. “Smiling is contagious and it not only lifts the spirits of the people around us but also our own.”
As a facility assistant, Bloss has made an impact on the visitors she meets when on shift. Not only has this position increased her confidence, but has also seen the benefit of a positive community.“I enjoy working at the gym,” said Bloss. “I dislike having to miss shifts and I pick up shifts whenever I can I always look forward to coming into the positive environment of the gym and engaging with the patrons and my co-workers.”
Areas of improvement
Physical activity keeps me more well-rounded not only physically, but also builds community in my life.”
Katherine Mansfield ’20, an interdisciplinary studies major focusing on the science and culture of speech, thrives off the community aspect that exercise can have. From Albemarle, North Carolina, Katherine tried out on the swim team during high school and began taking yoga. To her, group fitness was a means of challenging herself to be better.
During the fall that she arrived at NC State, she took it upon herself to explore Carmichael, to escape the lull before the first day of classes. That is when she discovered group fitness classes in the Carmichael Recreation Center. After adding classes to her weekly schedule, she had a moment of clarity.
“I think I can do what they are doing,” she thought. “It would be cool to get up in front of a group. I didn’t really have a big group to start.”
Six months later, inspired, she decided to take the ACE® group fitness instructor class immediately when she was eligible, after her 18thbirthday. After shadowing her first class, cycling, she learned the power of flexibility. As someone who felt they were not the greatest public speaker, finding the words to lead a class came naturally.
Her most important takeaway from Wellness and Recreation: the value of “areas of improvement.”
To Katherine this means adjusting to the feedback and developing a positive mindset that enhances the participants’ experience. From adjusting her delivery and cadence depending on the class to ensuring that she interacts with participants, getting to know them at a personal level, remembering birthdays and other milestones.
“My experiences with Wellness and Recreation have helped to shape me to achieve my goals and aspirations,” said Mansfield. “By strengthening my interpersonal skills, I will be a greater clinician and have the skills to interact with the patient, client or others.”
Her experience as a group fitness instructor and not only provided her with a new outlook but has provided her with a community of like-minded people.
“The people I met in the ACE® course are my best and dearest friends,” said Mansfield. We have just been through the really awkward phases of learning to teach together and have supported each other.” Katherine also works to spread the message of well-being on NC State’s campus as a student wellness champion and serves as a member of the Wellness and Recreation advisory board for the 2019 academic year.
This spring, Clare and Katherine were the recipients of the Wellness and Recreation Friends and Family Student Employee Scholarship. Each will receive $500 toward tuition.
“Philanthropy is important because there are people that aren’t as well in the world as we are and it is important to look out for the well-being of others,” said Bloss. “The way that we treat people truly affects their state of mind.”
“It feels good to know that what I’m doing is seen,” said Mansfield. “Having others who want to see me succeed and continue my education is very rewarding.”
For the future, Clare plans to attend law school and pursue a career in corporate finance law. Katherine plans to attend graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree in communication science and disorders, on her way to becoming a clinically-certified speech-language pathologist.